"Travelers could be talking on their personal cellphones as early as 2006. Earlier this month (July 2004), American Airlines conducted a trial run on a modified aircraft that permitted cell phone calls." WP, July 27, 2004.
"Qualcomm and American Airlines are exploring (July 2004) ways for passengers to use cell phones inflight for air-to-ground communication. In a recent 2-hr. proof-of-concept flight, representatives from government and the media used commercial Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) third-generation cell phones to place and receive calls and text messages from friends on the ground.
For the test flight from Dallas-Fort Worth, the aircraft was equipped with an antenna in the front and rear of the cabin to transmit cell phone calls to a small in-cabin CDMA cellular base station. This "pico cell" transmitted cell phone calls from the aircraft via a Globalstar satellite to the worldwide terrestrial phone network"
God help us, it's bad enough trying to walk around the supermarket listening to these people that cannot live without their mobile for more than 5 minutes, now we're going to have to listen to them in the air also and whilst perhaps trying to sleep?
Like cigarettes, mobiles should be banned from public places :)
True Martin, imagine even 25% of the passangers chatting on their cell phones in the high-density economy class.
At even 10,000 feet of altitude, you are too far from the cell, which will cause a week signal, or no signal at all.
But this isn't the only problem when you are travelling at over 250 miles an hour, passing cells on ground at a rapid rate of speed. Even if you are able to call out, soon as you pass the cell, you'll get disconnected, and will have to call again to connect to the cell you're now passing over.
Over 250 miles per hour? A couple of weeks ago I rode in the cockpit of a turbo-prob airliner, allbeit the world's most advanced turbo-prop airliner, we were cruising at a speed of 370 knots, that's 425 miles per hour and that wasn't even on a jet!
There's obviously some new technology around for mobiles in the air. Non use of mobiles in aircraft, claiming that they may interfere with the aircraft systems, has all been speculation. The truth is that nobody has ever proven that a mobile can interfere with an aircraft systems.
Martin, sorry to disagree with you but it is possible ...
the system might be designed to support such interferings
but mobile phone do interfere with any electronic device ... unless it has a very strong isolation ... but in this case, the airplane will be very heavy and the mobile phone will be useless (because the signals won't be able to go through the plane)
I hope you do beleive that using mobile phone near a fuel-station can cause fire/explosion, even worse than simply smoking a cigarette